Plans for a new Metro and bus interchange in the centre of South Shields are on schedule to start in the spring of 2018.
And a new series of artist’s impressions show what the new bus and Metro concourses will look like when they are completed.
The development, which forms part of a £100m town centre regeneration scheme, will be built in the heart of South Shields and will include a combined new Metro and bus station to the south of Keppel Street.
The transport hub proposal has been developed in conjunction with Nexus, the public body which delivers local public transport on behalf of the North East Combined Authority, South Tyneside Council, and the developer, Muse Developments.
Nexus owns, manages and is modernising the Tyne and Wear Metro – a programme that incorporates the new Metro station which forms part of the South Shields scheme.
Managing Director of Nexus, Tobyn Hughes, said: “I’m thrilled to see that this exciting scheme to regenerate the centre of South Shields is proceeding as planned.
“The aim is create a vibrant, all new, consolidated transport hub in the town centre. This will include a clean and modern bus station and an entirely new Metro terminus.
“I have no doubt that this proposed scheme will transform the public transport facilities for passengers in South Shields for many years to come.”
South Tyneside Council has now acquired all the land and properties needed to press ahead with the next phase of the £100m South Shields 365 regeneration masterplan.
Earlier this summer, the Secretary of State confirmed a Compulsory Purchase Order made by the council, clearing the way for it to secure ownership of remaining assets in the town centre.
Now the council has acquired these interests, the planned transport interchange is on schedule to start on site next Spring.
This month will also see two major milestones, with the Royal Mail’s move to its new facility at Laygate and the opening of the Post Office’s new branch in King Street.
Leader of the Council, Cllr Iain Malcolm, said: “Things are moving on swiftly with Phase two of the regeneration and soon people will begin to see activity around the town.
“The Post Office’s new branch on King Street will be opening on September 21 and we know residents are as pleased as we are that it is remaining at the heart of the town centre.
“The Royal Mail’s new sorting office at Laygate is also on track to open later this month.
“We’re working towards appointing a contractor and in the coming weeks demolitions associated with the transport interchange will get underway.
“Things are really starting to gather momentum now and we’re looking forward to starting on site next year.”
The Post Office will be moving in to the former Officers’ Club unit on King Street, which has undergone extensive refurbishment.
Planning permission was granted last year for the transport interchange, as well as outline planning permission for Phase three, new retail and leisure development.
Residents and visitors will also notice new vibrant artwork around the town centre, which reflects the vision for South Shields and showcases its fantastic offer.
The development of the new interchange will include:
• A new and improved Metro station
• A full enclosed bus terminal with seating
• Improved station access with increased lift and escalator provision
• 14 bus stands, 1 coach stand and 1 drop off/coach point
• An enhanced entrance on Keppel and Fowler Street
• Improvements to bus routing in South Shields
• Increased passenger safety within the new bus station
• Improvement to Coronation Street bus stops